Before there were automated gates to stop traffic when a train was approaching the crossing at the foot of Spink Street, a guard would come out of the railroad shanty in Wooster and hold up his stop sign to prevent traffic from going across the tracks.

The guard station with its pot bellied stove was located near the old DiGiacomo building which was torn down around 2008.

Several years ago 1964 Wooster High School grad Lawrence Levine of Cincinnati wrote that he remembered his father taking him down to the train station depot.

"There was a small shack across the street where a train watchman sat," he recalled. "When an indicator light came on that a train was coming, he would walk swinging his lantern to stop traffic."

"Later," said Wooster historian Harry McClarran, "the shanty was taken out to McSweeny Woods and used as a club house."

Such a deal

While cleaning out my files recently I came across several old menus. They were copies that someone had sent me some time ago.

Back in 1948 the popular Hamburger Inn at 305 E. Liberty St. was offering a breaded pork chop, mashed potatoes or French fries, a side dish, bread, butter and beverage for the extravagant sum of 65 cents.

You could eat like a king at the Dine-A-Mite, located on East Bowman near the corner of Palmer Street. There was no date on the menu but a T-bone steak with French fries, a side dish, bread and butter and a cup of coffee would have cost you $1.25.

Sales receipt

Earl Jentes called recently to say he has a receipt from Wooster Tractor Sales dated April 12, 1944. It’s for a Ford tractor his father, Arthur, purchased 75 years ago.

"The dealership," Jentes said, "was located at the rear of the old Reed Warehouse building at the corner of Liberty and Spink streets (today’s OneEighty) and — because of the war — my dad had to wait awhile for it."

The receipt reminded Jentes of the other local tractor dealers during that time period including W.F. Weigley (Allis-Chalmers); Harold Cook (International); Shearer Farm Equipment (Oliver); Conn & Son (John Deere); and Lowe & Young (Minneapolis Moline).

FYI

One of the first times a Wooster newsstand, news agency or news depot appeared in print was in the 1859-1860 city directory. It stated that Jessie Y. Ross sold newspapers and periodicals in the Arcadome building on the south side of East Liberty Street. Years later, Chuck Flesher’s newsstand opened in the late 1930s and remained open into the post-war years. The establishment was located in an alley on East Liberty Street.

Thought you should know.

Columnist Ann Gasbarre can be reached at agasbarre@gmail.com or 330-345-6419.